Warin the Wombat sculpture

Wombat Sculpture, Melbourne, Australia

Public Art : Warin the Wombat sculpture

Sculptor/woodcarver : © Des McKenna

Date : January 2002

Description : This large 1½m red gum wombat was actually carved on location from one hell of a log (2½ tonnes) and sits happily in a sandpit. People are drawn to this unusal sculpture mainly because of the texture. It is so smooth that you can't help but want to touch it. I am guessing it is probably the most rubbed piece of public art in Melbourne.

Location : Southern end of City Square, Swanston Street, Melbourne, Australia

History of the Wombat sculpture: This smooth wooden wombat, named Warin, is considered the major draw card for Melbourne's City Square (unlike the Yellow Peril, which is a whole other story!). It was created by Des McKenna from a large block of red gum and was actually cut right on location. The creation took a little over two weeks to complete and attracted a healthy group of regular spectators, who were keen to follow Des' progress. A man with a chainsaw is a dangerous thing, so a barrier was erected to stop "woodchip in the eye" issues. The big chunk of red gum came from an area near Wentworth, in New South Wales. So, is anyone interested in why the wombat is called "Warin" ? I went onto Des McKenna's website and discovered that the name was derived from the dialects of two of Melbourne's most important Aboriginal tribes (that's really cool).


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